The special envoy said that the right to peaceful protest must be respected after a protest in Hong Kong was attacked and a man was assaulted.
The UK has summoned a top Chinese diplomat over violence at a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester, where a man appeared to be dragged in. consulate and assault.
British police are investigate the case, which took place during protests against Chinese President Xi Jinping. Officers from Greater Manchester Police entered the consulate area to rescue a man they said was “dragged” inside and assaulted by several men.
Foreign Minister Zac Goldsmith said: “We are very concerned about the footage we have seen showing an incident at the Chinese Consulate General.
“Today we made our position clear to the Chinese authorities: the right to peaceful protest in the UK must be respected,” he added.
China’s ambassador to the UK is not currently in the country, so Charge d’Affaires Yang Xiaoguang has been summoned to the Foreign Office to explain the incident. He met with a foreign office official who told him that all diplomats and consular staff must respect UK laws and regulations.
Earlier, in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin blamed protesters for the incident.
“Disruptive elements illegally entered the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester and jeopardized the security of Chinese diplomatic facilities,” he told a daily news conference.
“The diplomatic missions of any country have the right to take the necessary measures to protect the peace and dignity of their establishment.”
Video from the incident shows a gray-haired, hat-and-masked man kicking at protesters’ banners – one of which features a nearly-naked Mr. Xi wearing a crown – and scuffle with him. a group of protesters at the gate of the consulate.
Footage shows senior Chinese Consulate officials, including the Consul General, physically harming a protester. We will not support brutality against those seeking refuge in our country.
Those involved will be deported or charged within the week. pic.twitter.com/T97DDtC7Rm
– Alicia Kearns MP (@aliciakearns) October 18, 2022
A group of men then punched a protester lying on the ground inside the gate of the mission as a policeman tried to stop the attack. Photos of the scuffle also showed a man being dragged towards the yard by a group of men while police officers and other protesters tried to drag him another way.
Addressing parliament, Alicia Kearns, the newly appointed chair of the British parliament’s foreign affairs committee, accused China’s Consul General Zheng Xiyuan, one of the most senior Chinese diplomats in the UK. , was present at the scene.
“Those involved will be deported or charged within the week,” she wrote later on Twitter.
China has not responded to the allegations against Zheng.
‘Like a gangster’
Greater Manchester Police said in a statement that around 40 people gathered outside the consulate on Sunday for a peaceful protest.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT), “a small group of men walked out of the building and one man was dragged into the consulate premises and assaulted,” police said. .
“Due to our concerns for the man’s safety, officers intervened and removed the victim from the consulate premises.”
Protests take place as China opens 5 year Communist Party Congresswhere Mr. Xi is expected to be awarded an unprecedented third term.
British police added that the victim spent the night in hospital receiving treatment and an investigation was underway.
The man whose first name is Bob is about 30 years old and recently immigrated to the UK from Hong Kong, according to a close friend of his.
Interviewed by British broadcaster Sky News, Bob said he feared for his life and suffered cuts to his face and bruises on his body as a result of the assault.
“They’re like gangsters, you know, doing gangster things. It shouldn’t be like that. You know, it’s not in China. This is the UK,” Bob told the news channel.